Computer and Internet Use Policy

Computer and Internet Use Policy

The Sherburne Memorial Library offers public access to the Internet as an extension of the library’s commitment to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of our diverse community. The Library has a responsibility to provide material and information presenting all points of view and the Library supports access to all formats of material to meet the informational needs of the community.
The Internet is a powerful tool for finding information, but not all web sites are accurate, reliable, or unbiased. The Internet should not be considered a substitute for other library resources. The most appropriate information may more easily be found in books, magazines, or research databases. Users are encouraged to ask a reference librarian for assistance to find the best sources for needed information.

The Library has not installed filter software to exclude pornography or other inappropriate Web resources. Filters do not reliably exclude illegal or offensive material, and even the best filters sometimes exclude information that is legal and valuable. Filters may be helpful for parents in the home, but they are not appropriate for libraries. Filters must be configured by vendors or Library staff to exclude a set group of Internet sites, words, or phrases which cannot be right for every families’ values and concerns.

Access to and use of the Internet is a privilege. Internet access should be used in a responsible and ethical manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided.
The following purposeful, illegal and/or criminal activities constitute unacceptable use:
• Using library workstations for any illegal or criminal purpose that violates local, state, or federal laws (including, but not limited to, committing fraud; hacking; or engaging in communications which are libelous or slanderous);
• Viewing child pornography;
• Deliberately displaying sexually explicit images;
• Violating copyright law or software licenses;
• Removing privacy screens;
• Compromising the privacy of users;
• Attempting to gain unauthorized entry to the library’s network or to cause degradation of system performance;
• Attempting to install, delete, or modify library software; attempting to install or run any programs that have not been installed by the library;
• Downloading software from the Internet onto library computers;
• Moving or changing the arrangement of library computers and attached equipment;
• Damaging computer equipment or software in any way.
• Disrupting the intended use of the library Internet computers.

The Library is aware of parental and governmental concerns about child safety on the Internet. The Library does not however, use technological measures to filter Internet content because they block protected speech. Internet computers in the children’s room are restricted to children ages 12 and younger, and/or their accompanying caregivers. These computers point to web sites and search engines that are recommended as appropriate and useful for children. The children’s librarians can offer assistance in locating helpful web sites to find information. The library also makes available copies of A Librarian’s Guide to Cyberspace for Parents and Kids and Child Safety on the Information Highway, as guides to help adults direct children’s use of the Internet.
While instruction is provided and help offered, librarians cannot monitor individual use of the Internet. Access to the Internet carries with it the potential to deliberately or accidentally access inaccurate, inappropriate, or offensive material. Therefore, parents and guardians are encouraged to take an active role in their children’s use of the Internet and to talk about their personal values, expectations, and rules for safe behavior when using this resource. Parents should encourage their children to speak to the librarian if they get to a web site that makes them feel uncomfortable.
The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents or legal guardians to guide their children’s use of all library resources, including the Internet. As is the case with all other library materials, any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the child’s parent or legal guardian.

The library respects a user’s right to both confidentiality and privacy. Each user is asked to respect the privacy of other computer users. Privacy screens are provided, and may not be removed from Internet terminals. Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure medium. All transactions, files and communications (including transmission of personal financial information) may be subject to access by third parties, whether legal or illegal. The library will not release information on the use of electronic resources by members of the public except as required by law. (See: Privacy Policy). Sign-up sheets do not identify computer users and will be destroyed immediately after statistics are recorded.

The library strives to balance the rights of users to access all types of information resources with the rights of users and staff to work in a public setting free from disruptive sounds and visuals. Users are reminded that the library’s computer terminals are located in public areas that are shared with library users and staff of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. Individuals are expected to consider this diversity and respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information or images.
The deliberate display of sexually explicit materials or images, including any attempt to print out those materials on library printers, is prohibited (See ACCEPTABLE USE).

Violations of any part of this policy may result in the loss of library privileges. Persons violating the library’s Internet Use policy will be notified that their behavior has violated the library’s policy. If such behavior occurs a second time, it will result in suspending or terminating the patron’s access to library computers.
Users will be held responsible for any damage to hardware, software, data, furniture or equipment. A librarian may check the workstations after each use.
Illegal acts involving library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

The Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of information obtained through the Internet. The Library cannot control or monitor material which may be accessible from Internet sources. The Library’s selection policies which serve to govern the Library’s purchase of materials are not applicable to material accessed electronically. Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk. The Library assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising from its connection to the Internet. The Library is not responsible for changes in content of the sources to which it links or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links.
Librarians will identify and display starting points for searches which are appropriate to the Library’s mission and service roles. However each individual user must accept responsibility for determining which electronic resources they will access and the relative value of the content. Since the Internet is not secure, each user accepts personal and financial responsibility for information transmitted or received. Parents are responsible for their children’s use of the library’s computers.

• Persons using library computers must first complete a Computer Use agreement.
• Users select a randomly numbered card, sign in by the number, and note the time.
• Users may use the Internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (e-mail) as long as they use an e-mail service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organizations or individuals
• Internet use is offered in thirty (30) minute sessions on a first-come, first-served basis; each user is allowed one session–if there is no patron waiting for the service at the end of a session, the user can have another session, but once having had the service for 30 minutes the user must abandon use of the Internet if another patron requests use of the service .
• Printing is available via the wired network; printing costs 15¢ per page.

• The library provides free Internet access points for users with portable computers or devices capable of receiving wireless signals. These access points allow uses to access the Internet from their laptop computers or other devices when sitting within range of the access points. Signal strength may vary in the building, and no guarantee can be provided that users will be able to make a wireless connection.
• The library’s wireless connection is not secure. Any information being sent or received could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. For your own protection, you should not transmit credit card information, passwords, or any other sensitive, personal information while using the Library’s wireless connection.
• Library staff is not able to provide technical assistance with patron equipment, and the library assumes no responsibility for the safety of equipment, laptop configurations, security, or data files resulting from connection to the Library’s wireless network. All wireless access users should have up-to-date virus protection on their laptop computer or wireless device.
• Patron laptop computers must be already equipped with a wireless network card.
• Be sure to have a headset with you if you plan to listen to audio files. While the library owns several sets of headsets, they may be in use by patrons using the wired network or may not be compatible with your equipment. Patrons listening to audio files without headsets will be asked to mute the volume on their devices.
• Printers are not available through the library’s wireless connection. If you need to print, please save your work to a floppy disk or memory stick or email files to yourself. You may then sign up to use the library’s wired network to send jobs to the public printer. Printing costs 15¢ per page.
• Use of the library’s wireless network is governed by this policy. By using the wireless network, patrons are agreeing to abide by the policy as stated above.

Revised and readopted 12/20/06, 9/12/07, 4/10/10, 2/13/13